Hair allergy is one of the most common allergic reactions in people with various pets. According to statistics, about 15% of the world's population suffers from allergies to the wool of domestic or wild animals. Despite this, this fact practically does not stop people from communicating with animals and they continue to closely contact them at a party, a zoo, or at home. Usually, the allergy to animal hair does not occur instantly, but develops gradually, and this period usually stretches for several years.
Most often, the disease manifests itself after close contact with cats or dogs, and even if they practically do not have hair. Dogs in general are such "walking allergens" themselves, as their woolen cover is renewed constantly, but despite this, the allergy to the dog's wool is diagnosed much less often than allergies to the fur of cats. The main provoking allergen are specific proteins secreted by the skin glands of animals. In addition, these proteins can be contained in the urine and saliva of the animal. These allergens, due to their very small size, very easily spread with air masses. After contact with the mucous membranes and skin of a sensitized organism, these allergens cause a very strong allergic response. Animal allergy can also be triggered by fish food, feathers, bird droppings, ant eggs, the products of vital activity of various rodents (rats, hamsters, mice, guinea pigs, etc.).
Even unaware of this, the owners of all pets are active carriers of the allergen released by their pets
Hair allergy - symptoms
Symptoms of allergy to animal hair are very similar to the symptoms of pollen allergy. These include: a short-term asthmatic attack, lacrimation, sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness of the nose. The time period of the course of this type of allergy can range from several hours to six months, and this is quite a serious condition and the patient must be under the supervision of an allergist all this time.
The main symptoms of allergy to wool:
• Hives , neurodermatitis, eczema
• Hyperemia of the skin, severe itching
• Allergic conjunctivitis , eyelid swelling, tearing
• Various rashes, usually in the form of a small rash
• Allergic rhinitis, sneezing, mucous discharge from the nose
• Shortness of breath, attacks of suffocation
• It is rare to develop such an extremely serious illness as bronchial asthma
Due to the fact that most often the allergy to wool is caused by dogs and cats, below we will consider these two types of allergies separately
Allergy to dog hair
On provoking allergic reactions, after the cat family, the dogs stand in second place. First of all I want to note that there are no hypoallergenic breeds of dogs, and short-haired dogs in terms of development of an allergic reaction are much more aggressive long-haired, since the main Can F1 allergen is contained in the skin of the dog. In addition, an allergy to dogs can cause living in dog hair constantly tiny mites. Even despite careful systematic cleaning of the premises, the Can F1 allergen skillfully hides in toys, curtains, carpets and furniture, keeping its vitality to several months.
The main symptoms of allergy to dogs: tearing, red eyes, hoarseness of voice, dry cough, difficulty breathing (due to swelling of the nasopharynx), itching.
Skin symptomatology of allergy to the coat of dogs usually appears after the saliva is directly on the skin of a person. The accumulation of allergens is any place in the body of a person that has sputum. The most violently on canine allergens are people who suffer from bronchial asthma. Often they develop suffocation and the subsequent swelling of Quincke
Allergy to cat hair
Cat's hair is not an allergen by itself. The development of an allergic reaction causes the secretory protein of saliva and cat skin. All animals of the feline family have these allergens present. Due to the fact that the cat almost continuously watches the purity of its wool and constantly licking itself, wherever it goes, lies or sits, there are allergens. With the smallest skin scales, the allergen gets in truly huge quantities on soft toys, bedding and carpeting. It should be noted that cats are much more allergens than cats. Also, many other allergens the cat secretes with urine. In short, wherever these pets live, allergens literally hover in the ambient air, and their spread is promoted by carpets, upholstered furniture and household dust.
Symptoms of allergy to cat fur are typical symptoms of all allergic reactions, with a single peculiarity - the first manifestations are nasal congestion and itching, which is often confused with the symptoms of colds.
The main symptoms of allergies to cats: itching all over the body, puffiness of the face, shortness of breath, severe lachrymation, a feeling of sore throat, hoarseness of voice, dry frequent cough, hives, triggering of an asthmatic attack, swelling of Quincke.
I also want to debunk the myth that there are hypoallergenic breeds of cats that, because of their lack of hair, are not capable of causing an allergic reaction. This is not true! Sphynx, lefty and other cats with complete lack of wool cover, just as with saliva and skin particles, release aggressive allergens into the environment
Allergy to wool - treatment
Unfortunately, the only effective way to cope with the allergy to the animal's fur is to refrain from keeping the pet, as all existing treatments are half measures that can reduce the frequency and intensity of exacerbations, but not cure allergies.
With the treatment of a mild type of this type of allergy, nasal aerosols and antihistamines can quite successfully cope. In the case of more severe allergic manifestations, after consultation with an allergist, corticosteroids are usually prescribed. In the case of asthmatic attacks, reception of anti-asthmatic drugs is indicated.
Immunotherapy is by far the best method to reduce any allergic reactions. This method consists in a long-term process of hyposensitization, when gradually increasing small doses of a provoking allergen are injected under the skin, which stimulate the immune defense to produce the appropriate antibodies that can prevent allergic manifestations in the future.